Winner of 1m pound Templeton prize attacks 'fundamentalism' of Dawkins
By HANNAH DEVLIN - TIMESONLINE
Added: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 00:00:00 UTC
The âscientific fundamentalismâ promoted by the atheist Richard Dawkins was criticised yesterday by the winner of a prize he had attacked.
Professor Francisco Ayala, who won the Â£1 million Templeton Prize for scientific thought, said that attacking religion and ridiculing believers provided ammunition for religious leaders who insisted that followers had to choose between God and Darwin. âRichard Dawkins has been a friend for more than 20 years, but it is unfortunate that he goes beyond the boundaries of science in making statements that antagonise believers,â he said.
Professor Ayala, of the University of California, Irvine, who is an authority on evolution and genetics, won the prize for his contribution to the question âDoes scientific knowledge contradict religious belief?â. The prize, the largest of its kind, was founded by the late entrepreneur Sir John Templeton to honour scientists who contribute to progress in religion.
The professor, who was born in Spain and is a naturalised American, says science and religion cannot be in contradiction because they address different questions. It is only when either subject oversteps its boundary, as he believes is the case with Professor Dawkins, that a contradiction arises, he said. âThe scientific fundamentalism proposed by Dawkins implies a materialistic view of the world. But once science has had its say, there remains much about reality that is of interest. Common sense tells us that science canât tell us everything.â
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